Hampstead’s Thibodeau, 13, chalks up another crown
It’s one thing when golfers are in their prime winning championships and setting course records along the way.
It’s another thing and an amazing accomplishment when it’s being done by a 13-year-old girl.
Lauren Thibodeau of Hampstead is that girl.
In spectacular fashion, Thibodeau, of Windham Country Club, birdied five straight holes and became the first golfer to win three straight New Hampshire Women’s Golf Assocation Junior Championship with a tourney-record 2-under-par 71 round Thursday at Intervale CC.
When asked how she felt about draining five straight birdies, Thibodeau said “fine, but I could have had seven straight. I rolled two putts to the brim of the cup before I got my first birdie. I could have had a better score.”
When Thibodeau won her first NHWGA junior title two years ago at age 11, she became the youngest champion in the history of the junior circuit and still remains the youngest champion at age 13. The youngest champion to win the juniors before Thibodeau was 14.
Thibodeau, who will enter the eighth grade this fall at Hampstead Middle School, still is eligible to play for the junior championship through her 17th birthday. “I’ll probably be back to play in this tourney again next year,” she said.
Yesterday Thibodeau won the tournament by nine strokes, converting five straight birdies (holes 6-9, hole 1), 10 pars with three bogeys.
“I had five birdies in one round at Hanover, but never five in a row,” said Thibodeau. “Winning the championship three straight years means a lot to me. I’ve played at Intervale for the past five years and it’s a good course. I can hit a lot of iron shots to the green.”
Thobodeau said she didn’t know she set a tourney record until after her round. “I looked up at the board and realized it,” said Thibodeau. “I’ll take it.”
Thibodeau, who started playing golf at age 6, has also made a name for herself around the country. Last year, she won the U.S. Kids Regional Championships in the Seaview Open in Galloway, N.J., and won the U.S. Kids PGA Club Invitational in Port Lucie, Fla.
Next Monday she will compete in a USGA qualifier at the Thorny Lea Golf Club in Brockton, Mass.
Thibodeau, who said winning the NHGWA Juniors gives her confidence entering Monday’s USGA event, received more good news recently. She was named to the NHWGA state team along with Tracey Marshall of Abenaqui of Rye and Tara Watt of Derryfield CC. All three will travel to Kettering, Ohio, to compete in the USGA team championship tournament slated for Sept. 16-18.
“It’s going to be fun and I’m looking forward to it, but I’ve got to get ready for Brockton on Monday,” said Thibodeau,
Below are Thursday’s tourney results at Intervale CC.
Senior Division: Lauren Thibodeau, Windham 71; Kaitlyn Lutinski, Campbell’s Scottish. 80; Chelsea Sedlar, Green Meadow, 80;
Sara Feith, Cochecho, 82; Lauren DeJoe, Candia Woods, 84; Shelby Reed, Beaver Meadow, 85; Samantha Reed, Beaver Meadow, 88; Ashley Tewksbury, The Oaks, 93; Elizabeth Nelson, Kingswood, 94; Courtney Otto, Windham, 101; Micaela Griffin, Windham, 111Junior Division: Hayley Reed, Beaver Meadow, 89; Erin Dello Russo, Hoodkroft, 100
Pee Wee: Shivani Vora, First Tee of NH, 47; Eva Gonzales, Green Meadow, 52; Alanna Brunelle, Atkinson, 55; Katherine Steele, Concord, 64; Serena Gerome, Golf Club of New England, 65; Jackie Ruggles, Concord, 66; Mia DeVito, Salem, 66Mini: Hannah McCain, Den Brae, 42; Kaitlyn Ford, First Tee of NH, 53; Kaylee Lintner, Hooper, 55; Lauren Barry, Derryfield, 55; Lilly Bogue, First Tee of NH, 56; Olivia DeVito, Salem, 72Junior (9-year-old): Aislin Murdock, First Tee of NH, 58; Aislinn Low, Manchester, 61; Rowan Perkins, First Tee of NH, 65; Jasmine Javanbakht, Nashua, 83Munchkin: Julie Allan, North Hampton, 33